When you think of Vermont, you probably recreate mental images of snowy alpine mountains, nature-made maple syrup, and huge pine trees. This image is half Rutland, a beautiful city with an abundance of mountains, natural beauties, and informative museums that cover history, both worldwide and local, and arts.
Rutland goes through seasons, like anywhere else, so the slopes aren’t always covered in snow. Sometimes they give way to flower-filled valleys and dense, lush forests, complete with cliffs, canyons, and abundant wildlife. Rutland is THE town to explore if you love the outdoors.
When you come to Rutland, you’ll find a historic downtown district, with a thriving arts scene, and a plethora of restored buildings dating to the 1800s
Shops and eateries line the sidewalks, many of which are family-owned through generations of Vermonters. The people here are friendly and proud with lots of stories to tell and legends to spin. If you have a moment, sit with a local in one of the cafes, talk over a good cup of coffee, and listen to some of the local tales that give Rutland such a lustrous history. Plus, if you’re ever at a loss on where to go, older locals can point you towards some beautiful sights to see, like 19th-century castles, artist-dedicated museums, and nature preserves with mountain bike paths.
Anyone visiting Rutland, or anywhere in Vermont, will tell you that you MUST try the breakfasts. The maple syrup is fresh and warmed to perfection, adding the perfect amount of sweetness to hot cakes with a side of thick-cut bacon.
In Rutland, Johnny Boy’s Pancake House takes the win for being one of the best breakfast eaters in the city. Their cuisine is all-American in heaping helpings, and everything is homemade. Awarded the Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor on several occasions, the Pancake House offers a full menu of breakfast favorites, like made-to-order eggs, short-stacked pancakes, smoked sausage, from-scratch biscuits, potato hash, and fresh-brewed coffee.
Norman Rockwell was an Americana artist who grew up in Vermont. His artworks captured the nation with their cartoonish way of depicting real-world problems in the era he lived in. And that is something that Rutland takes a great deal of pride in.
The Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont is dedicated to the arts legend, with a gorgeous collection of magazine covers and framed artworks. There are informative plaques and historical notes throughout the small museum, but many believe the highlight to be the childhood tales of Rockwell himself.
For art lovers, this museum is definitely worth an hour or two of your time. Additionally, an attached gift shop sells prints of Norman Rockwell favorites.
Park-wise, the Pine Hill Park is a Rutland favorite, with nature paths, mountain bike ranges, well-maintained valleys, and a network of family-friendly walking trails.
Mountain bikers love the flow of the paths because it allows them to travel fast with clear signs of drop-offs or sharp turns. In the winter months, after snow has blanketed the park, those bikers and trailblazers turn snow-shoers and sledders.
The beautiful trails close at dusk and open at dawn. If Pine Hill is in your plans, be sure to bring bug spray for the summer months. The trails are abuzz with mosquitoes when the weather gets hot and muggy.
Rutland is the kind of city where you need more than a day to explore the mountainsides, historic districts, and fun museums
So, stay a weekend. There are several nice Rutland hotels in the area, including the Best Western Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington, the Comfort Inn Trolley Square, and the Hampton Inn.
Best Western Inn & Suites
Often called small and intimate, Best Western Inn & Suites is a comfy, cozy hotel in Rutland with studio rooms, plush beds, and free high-speed internet. The rooms are spread through four buildings, each with warm interiors and elevators to get you from point A to wherever.
Room features include a spacious set-up with a stand-in shower, well-equipped kitchenette, queen-sized beds, and separate sitting area.
Care to take a hike? The Bucklin Trail is less than 3 miles from the hotel, with varying difficulties of mountain ranges for your hiking pleasure. Best used from March to October, the trail runs 7.2 miles with an elevation of 2,473 feet. Dogs are permitted to use the trail and must be leashed.
Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington
Holiday Drive is the road you travel to get to the Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington, a top-ranked Rutland hotel. Guests are often surprised by the levels of commitment and care that goes into running this hotel. The service is impeccable, the staff is friendly, the rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, and everything truly makes you feel at home.
Highlighted features include free, wireless high-speed internet, an on-site restaurant that serves up breakfast buffets [for free], lunch, and dinner, a well-stocked bar and lounge, and shuttle bus and airport transportation.
Fun is what this hotel is all about, so take a swim in the indoor pool, laze around the hot tub, or ask for equipment at the front desk to play a few rounds on the tennis courts.
Comfort Inn Trolley Square
The Comfort Inn Trolley Square is located on Allen Street, with a held honor of being one of the best hotels in Rutland. This Vermont favorites features all of the comforts you would expect, such as free high-speed internet, cozy beds, and clean rooms—as well as a few luxuries you wouldn’t expect, like flat-screen televisions with free movie channels, free hot breakfasts, and an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. Delve into the local arts scene with a visit to The Chaffee Art Center, where school students of all ages, and local artists, have a chance to display their artworks for all of Rutland to see and support.
The Hampton Inn
The Hampton Inn on Farrell Road has been dubbed THE best hotel in Rutland. Why? Because their comforts are homey, their accommodations are luxurious, and their customer service is spot-on superb every single time. These guys are all about friendliness, respect, and reliability. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with one to two queen-sized or king-sized bed/s [your preference], an amazing shower with stellar water pressure, a full kitchen, lots of towels, linens, and toiletries, and a well-furnished sitting area.
For fun, most guests don’t even leave the hotel, preferring instead to head downstairs for free hot breakfasts and an after-breakfast dip in the heated indoor swimming pool.
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